April 11, 2015

by Colette M. Liddy Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Gemma Galgani, a woman who was known for her smile. She was born on March 12, 1878, in Italy near Lucca. It has been said that Saint Gemma had a smile for everyone. She raised her seven siblings after her father died. Saint Gemma on earth was chronically ill; she experienced ridicule for her mystical experiences;contracted tuberculosis; was given the gift of the stigmata for a few years and… Read more

April 1, 2015

By Russell Shaw Is the devil real? Here is Msgr. Ronald Knox on that: “It is stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the devil, when he is the only explanation of it.” Monsignor Knox, eminent British convert, author, retreat master and translator of the Bible, may have been indulging in irony. But irony doesn’t change the fact that the devil and his demonic associates exist. I came across the Knox quote in Manual for Spiritual Warfare,… Read more

March 31, 2015

By Cassandra Poppe My four year old little boy was slowly moving away from the burn barrel, completely engulfed in flames from his waist to his head. “On the Way of the Cross, you see, my children, only the first step is painful. Our greatest cross is the fear of crosses. . . . We have not the courage to carry our cross, and we are very much mistaken; for,whatever we do, the cross holds us tight — we cannot… Read more

March 23, 2015

by Joyce Hart As a Director of Faith Formation, part of one’s ministry includes preparing children and adults, particularly in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance, or mostly known as Confession. It has its challenges, especially within the RCIA; one wonders whether the Catechumens will ever receive the Sacrament after their Baptism. Of course we are taught that Confession is only necessary in the case of mortal sin, or as an… Read more

March 20, 2015

by Fabio Hurtado We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy, and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship. — C.S. Lewis It was almost a year ago when during a meeting – I use that term loosely to describe four friends gathering at a local pub to drink draft beer and talk through theology and life – that we faced this question: If God is a loving father why would he abandon his children… Read more

March 19, 2015

By Russell Shaw When religion and secularism butt heads on public policy—a regular occurrence these days—religion typically is obliged to fight with one hand tied behind it. Unfair, you say? Certainly it is, but that’s how the game is played now. Consider the escalating argument over euthanasia and its first cousin, assisted suicide. For a religious believer, the most powerful argument against these practices concerns God’s authority as Lord of Life. To a secularist, though, god-talk is ruled out in… Read more

March 19, 2015

By Very Rev. Robert Barron Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella” is the most surprising Hollywood movie of the year so far. I say this because the director manages to tells the familiar fairy tale without irony, hyper-feminist sub-plots, Marxist insinuations, deconstructionist cynicism, or arch condescension. In so doing, he actually allows the spiritual, indeed specifically Christian, character of the tale to emerge. I realize that it probably strikes a contemporary audience as odd that Cinderella might be a Christian allegory, but keep… Read more

March 15, 2015

by Denise Bossert A young virgin lowered her head in humility and gave her fiat to God’s archangel, whose message would change her life and the course of history forever. On March 25th, we celebrate it, the Feast of the Annunciation. In that moment, Old Covenant gave way to New Covenant. Mary became God’s game changer, his pièce de résistance. In the days that followed the Annunciation, Mary sensed that many things were changing. God had called her to the… Read more

March 9, 2015

Visiting the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome for a full week in February was the experience of a lifetime. Spiritually and socially it was a profound experience in what turned out to be a pilgrimage of charity and peace. Intellectually speaking, it raised challenging questions on the state of the Church and the Catholic faith in Europe, the pontificate of Pope Francis, and the ways in which his teaching and example might be put into practice. My visit happened to… Read more

March 5, 2015

A man I know was walking his dog when a neighbor woman approached him and inquired about his wife. Not having seen her out and about in quite some time, the lady wondered: Was she well? “Not really,” the man said, going on to explain what that meant. “I’m sorry,” the woman said when he finished. “Is there anything I can do to help?” “Not really,” the man said again. “Except—say a prayer.” The woman hesitated a split second, and… Read more

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